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Thread: Master of Arts in something....

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land

    Master of Arts in something....

    Is it valuable to get a Master's of Arts in a subject? I guess my question stems from the fact that I feel like a Master's of Arts is a liberal arts degree, and not a strong degree in a specific field. I feel like it is a bit diluted...

    An example... I am looking to get a dual degree, but am finding that the dual degree would be a a MCRP and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management. The MA in PPM is only 34 credits and is roughly three quarters or 45 credits short of being a Master of PPM.

    Am I right to believe that this isn't worth my time, or am I being short sighted? I think that a dual degree in MCRP and MPPM would be great, but that is another year of school, and I am not looking to do that. Should I just get out early and forget the dual degree aspect? Or is even the little bit of knowledge worth keeping the dual degree? Does it make me more marketable?

    Any help would be appriciated. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Dec 2006
    Masters of is a formality that is usually decided by the institution. For example, I have a Bachelors in Arts in Urban Planning, this is because my program was in the fine arts college at the university I went to. In some other schools, planning may be considered a liberal arts or even a science.

    If you really want to do back to school and do a dual degree I think you should do the following.

    1. Ask yourself why do you want to get two degrees. What do you plan to accomplish with two degrees that you cannot accomplish with one? I think alot of students take on two degrees because they like what each field has to offer, but they do not see a direct correlation between the two fields in helping them achieve their career goals. I think this takes a lot of self assessment.

    2. Start searching for people who have done the dual degree program you are most interested in. Find out if it was worth all the extra effort and if it made them more marketable in terms of job searches.

    3. What added value do you give to a potential employer with two degrees? I think you are more marketible to employers if you choose a double major that doesnt produce so much overlap. Planning and public policy have more overlap than law and medicine. If you have alot of overlap, some employers might misinterpret this as they are getting two degrees for the price of one. If you can find two majors that (a) you are interested in (b) have some overlap that is enough to compliment the other field (c) find the relationship discussed in #1, you are really broadening your horizons.

    4. After you have graduated with two degrees in your hand, the next important task to find out how to put those degrees to work. In addition to simply looking for work and networking, try to create a job for yourself at a company (there are a few books on how to do this overlooked technique). You will have much more luck doing this in the private sector.

    I am planning on going back to school to focus in LA and planning. This spring I am going back to my alma mater to talk about this relationship. Currently I am on step #1 and I am trying to learn as much as I can about this interdependence.

    Hope this helps-

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